Crazy cucumbers and newbie questions

kedco15(8B)July 11, 2012

Hi -- I'm 15 and this is my second year of attempting a garden. My mom doesn't garden but does have some very limited knowledge from her grandmother, so we are both annoying newbies. So, I apologize if my questions are silly. The first is that my cucumbers, which were growing beautifully if at sometimes a little yellow in the leaves, produced gorgeous round golfballs. They taste like cucumbers, but they stopped growing after about a week and I had these nice, green round things with a little tiny tail on a couple of them.

Some of my other plants this year also produced tiny versions: radishes and carrots. The plants were beautiful, but the "eating" part just never really grew. Don't know if that's related to the other.

I might want to mention, these all were grown in bathtubs outside in mostly full sun. I used an organic potting soil and heirloom seeds.

Last year I only had success with my cantaloupes and even they were only the size of my fist. So it seems as if everything is stunted. I do know that where we live my great-grandmother always said had nematodes. Would that explain the cucumbers and the other problems? Thanks.

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farmerdill

Not if you are container growing with store bought soil. Nematodes are an in ground animal. Most likely you are not adding sufficient fertilizer. I don't do containers, but it seems that type of gardening requires more frequent addition of fertilizers.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:10PM
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kedco15(8B)

I am container gardening, but only the top 3 inches or so is the organic top soil. The rest is from our yard, taken from various spots. It is true though that we didn't really fertilize it. I was going to make a compost pile but haven't yet. So I will try some manure maybe??? I'm trying to do heirloom seeds and be all organic, as well, so I don't want to add a fertilizer that isn't "natural". Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:08PM
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Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

I think organic compost is the key. If you compost for the next six months and then fill those tubs with some store bought organic soil but mostly your homemade compost (80-85% Carbon-dry leaves, straw, wood chips/15-20% Nitrogen-coffee, manure, kitchen scraps), you will most likely have nice fruits and in abundance too. By the way, throw egg shells in their too, as fruit not forming properly can be due to calcium deficiency.

I think if you do that and create a tub of super rich materials for your plants to feed on while being sure to water properly/deeply (no overhead watering) that you will get normal sized fruit and vegetable that's not warped.

p.s. always add more compost (nutrients) in the middle of the growing season too:-) and grow varieties that are disease resistant heirlooms that like Georgia!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:12AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

kedco, welcome to the wonderful, frustrating world of gardening. I'd like to suggest you also post on the Organic Gardening Forum. Lots of really good info, and sources for the organic materials recommended. State where you are from when you do. That's a big help. Also read or participate in the Vegetables Forum.

I lived kind of in a forest in Roswell for a long time and now have a really sunny garden, but the soil still leaves lots to be desired. Don't let yourself get discouraged, k?

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:16AM
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